Google: 10,000 to tackle extremist online content

Logos of US technology company Google displayed on computer screens. (AFP)
Updated 06 December 2017
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Google: 10,000 to tackle extremist online content

LONDON: Google is set to create a team of 10,000 people who will be tasked with removing extremist, violent and predatory content posted on YouTube.
Susan Wojcicki, CEO of Google-owned YouTube said it would be expanding its team of moderators as she admitted that “bad actors” were “exploiting our openness to mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm.”
In recent weeks YouTube has been widely condemned for the availability of Daesh propaganda on the site and for videos featuring children in abuse situations.
Wojcicki said efforts to tackle extremism on the site had already seen ‘tremendous progress.”
“In the last year, we took actions to protect our community against violent or extremist content, testing new systems to combat emerging and evolving threats. We tightened our policies on what content can appear on our platform, or earn revenue for creators. We increased our enforcement teams,” the CEO wrote on her company blog.
Over the past six months, more than 150,000 videos of violent extremism have been removed, she added. The CEO said machine learning is helping human reviewers remove nearly five times as many videos than they were previously.
“Now, we are applying the lessons we’ve learned from our work fighting violent extremism content over the last year in order to tackle other problematic content. Our goal is to make it harder for policy-violating content to surface or remain on YouTube,” Wojcicki wrote.
YouTube has faced a backlash over the distribution and monetization of inappropriate content –something that Wojcicki acknowledged by saying that it had been “a difficult year.”
She said the company would now be taking a new approach to advertising, and would be “significantly ramping up” its team of advert reviewers to ensure adverts only run where they should.
 


Australia says foreign government behind cyberattack on lawmakers

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (AFP)
Updated 18 February 2019
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Australia says foreign government behind cyberattack on lawmakers

  • Morrison did not name any suspects, but analysts have said China, Russia and Iran were the most likely culprits

SYDNEY: A cyberattack on Australian lawmakers that breached the networks of major political parties was probably carried out by a foreign country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday, without naming any suspects.
As Australia heads for an election due by May, lawmakers were told this month told to urgently change their passwords after the cyber intelligence agency detected an attack on the national parliament’s computer network.
The hackers breached the networks of Australia’s major political parties, Morrison said, as he issued an initial assessment by investigators.
“Our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity,” he told parliament.
“We also became aware that the networks of some political parties, Liberal, Labor and Nationals have also been affected.”
Morrison did not reveal what information was accessed, but he said there was no evidence of election interference.
Australians will return to the polls by May.
Morrison did not name any suspects, but analysts have said China, Russia and Iran were the most likely culprits.
“When you consider motivation, you would have to say that China is the leading suspect, while you wouldn’t rule out Russia either,” said Fergus Hanson, head of the International Cyber Policy Center at think-tank the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
“It is the honey-pot of juicy political gossip that has been hoovered up. Emails showing everything from the dirty laundry of internal fights through to who supported a policy could be on display.”
Ties with China have deteriorated since 2017, after Canberra accused Beijing of meddling in its domestic affairs. Both countries have since sought to mend relations, but Australia remains wary of China.
Tension rose this month after Australia rescinded the visa of a prominent Chinese businessman, just months after barring Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies from supplying equipment to its 5G broadband network.
Officers of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency covertly monitored computers of US Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and campaign committees, and stole large amounts of data, US investigators have concluded.